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Pleas over Rhydyfelin library fall on deaf Labour ears

RCT N

Protestors in the public gallery booed and heckled as Labour Councillors refused to even listen to a plea by Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell to extend the opening of Rhydyfelin library by a few days pending the outcome of a legal challenge.
When the Council consulted on possible library closures at the end of last year as part of their savage phase 1 cuts residents were pleased that Rhydyfelin seemed set to stay. The Cabinet report scored facilities according to a range of factors including use and geographical location and a solid case was it seemed made to retain Rhydyfelin.
When the Cabinet met in January to rubber stamp their final decision it came as shock when they announced that Rhydyfelin would close and instead Pontyclun would be kept open.
At the Council's AGM on 28th May Cllr Powell put forward a motion to suspend standing orders so that a debate could take place on whether the library should be kept open for an extra week. The Labour group refused to even have the debate. Cllr Powell said
"The library protestors are at court on Wednesday next seeking leave to proceed with a judicial review. Given the recent decision that the proposal to cut nursery education was taken unlawfully they have reason to be hopeful.
"The Council have issued a notice saying they are closing the library on Saturday 31st at 1pm prior to impending demolition.
"Under the circumstances it would seem sensible for the Council to delay the closure plan for a few days to see what the outcome of the court proceedings is."
There were shouts from protestors as the request was denied. Later there were boos when Rhydyfelin Councillor Maureen Webber was reappointed to the Cabinet by the new leader.
RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts added
"Residents are angry that their library is closing when they were led to believe it wouldn't. They are incensed that neither of their two local Councillors - Maureen Webber nor Hawthorn's Teresa Bates - warned them of the possibility.
"They feel bitterly let down by the two people who should be fighting on their behalf but instead are following the party line. As part of the Cabinet who made the decision Cllr Webber is particularly unpopular."
Campaigners are hoping that as many people as possible will go along and visit the library for possibly the last time on Saturday morning. In the meantime their legal team have at least elicited from the Council a promise that nothing will be removed from the library until the court's decisions is known.

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